QFES promises meeting with Captain Creek residents
THE deregistration of Captain Creek Rural Fire Brigade amid the height of the fire season will be on the agenda when Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Greg Leach begins in his new role next week.
On November 2, the 47-member brigade was disbanded by QFES, which prompted an outcry from residents calling for the brigade to be reformed as a matter of urgency.
Following a public meeting on November 9, the Captain Creek Concerned Citzens Group was formed and a letter sent to the Queensland Government to outline its concerns.
It said the community was still traumatised by last year's bushfire emergency.
"It is difficult to comprehend the situation we now face where we do not have access to the experience and skills of 47 volunteer firefighters from the local community," the group wrote.
On Friday, it received confirmation Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's office delivered the letter to Fires and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford.
In a statement to The Observer, Mr Crawford said QFES would invite residents to a meeting to discuss requirements that must be met for the brigade to be relaunched.
But it is unclear when the meeting will be held.
"As you can appreciate, QFES is currently experiencing significant operational demands with 60 fires still burning across the state," Mr Crawford said.
"The new QFES Commissioner Greg Leach starts next week and Captain Creek is a discussion that will be had with him.
"We need to do this properly with the right people involved."
QFES cancelled the brigade's registration after an audit uncovered issues including "poor behaviour, misuse of brigade equipment and poor financial management".
The claims have been refuted by former members.
Former first officer John Massurit told The Observer the brigade elected a management committee but it was deemed invalid by QFES.